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Steinberg Composer's Essentials Sale

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30% off essentials for composers

Get creative and start composing with the help of carefully selected instruments like HALion 6, HALion instruments, expansions and loop sets.
 

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If they had an upgrade path from halion sonic se that came with Cubase then I might be enticed. However, all I see on their forums are complaints about the lack of an upgrade path from SE and nothing being done about it. As a consequence I don't even use Halion Sonic SE because it is a go nowhere thing.

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1 minute ago, Tezza said:

If they had an upgrade path from halion sonic se that came with Cubase then I might be enticed. However, all I see on their forums are complaints about the lack of an upgrade path from SE and nothing being done about it. As a consequence I don't even use Halion Sonic SE because it is a go nowhere thing.

I, too, have been quite vocal about the stupidity of such a thing....pure stupidity

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On 2/16/2021 at 9:32 AM, Tezza said:

If they had an upgrade path from halion sonic se that came with Cubase then I might be enticed. However, all I see on their forums are complaints about the lack of an upgrade path from SE and nothing being done about it. As a consequence I don't even use Halion Sonic SE because it is a go nowhere thing.

HALion Sonic SE is the Steinberg equivalent of UVI Workstation.  No, they aren't going to give upgrades off of a free product that anyone can get from the Steinberg website.  Yes, it's literally the same product.  It's bundled with Cubase because it's their product, and their sample/synth playback engine, for the content that comes with Cubase (and Dorico) and from Steinberg (and partners that create for that platform).

There is no logical reason why they would give upgrade discounts to that, the same way no one expects UVI to give upgrade discounts off of UVI Workstation, for the same reason.

Should they also give upgrades from Cubase to Dorico because Cubase has a score editor?

On 2/16/2021 at 9:34 AM, cclarry said:

I, too, have been quite vocal about the stupidity of such a thing....pure stupidity

Absolutely nothing stupid about it.

No one is paying for HSSE3 to be bundled in Cubase.  That's why it's in literally every SKU of Cubase, down to AI and LE.  What people pay a little extra for are the sound libraries that Cubase bundles, and those are played back through instruments like HSSE3.

You paid nothing for HSSE3, so why should they basically give you money for having it?

Edited by Maestro
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14 hours ago, Maestro said:

HALion Sonic SE is the Steinberg equivalent of UVI Workstation.  No, they aren't going to give upgrades off of a free product that anyone can get from the Steinberg website.  Yes, it's literally the same product.  It's bundled with Cubase because it's their product, and their sample/synth playback engine, for the content that comes with Cubase (and Dorico) and from Steinberg (and partners that create for that platform).

There is no logical reason why they would give upgrade discounts to that, the same way no one expects UVI to give upgrade discounts off of UVI Workstation, for the same reason.

Should they also give upgrades from Cubase to Dorico because Cubase has a score editor?

Absolutely nothing stupid about it.

No one is paying for HSSE3 to be bundled in Cubase.  That's why it's in literally every SKU of Cubase, down to AI and LE.  What people pay a little extra for are the sound libraries that Cubase bundles, and those are played back through instruments like HSSE3.

You paid nothing for HSSE3, so why should they basically give you money for having it?

Ummmm.... no.   The Sonic you can get for free on the Steinberg site has no sounds in it.  The one that comes in Cubase is a solid instrument with tons of sounds and much programmability,  much more than a player. 

You get Padshop free with Cubase.  Upgrading to Padshop Pro is $5.   I'm with the people who say it's ridiculous not to have an upgrade path  to full Sonic for Cubase users.

However, I don't really know why anybody would want full Sonic, when  HALion 6 goes on sale at least once a year for a ridiculously low price.  Wait for the sale, and pay a few more bucks for that, I humbly suggest. 

I'm not taking the time to check it out, but if my memory serves, there is an upgrade path to HALion.

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On 2/17/2021 at 1:04 AM, cclarry said:

I, too, have been quite vocal about the stupidity of such a thing....pure stupidity

Yes, there is an opportunity for them to give a scaled down Halion in Cubase and then to provide an upgrade path to the full version. That would be sensible marketing to pull people in the direction of Halion. I agree 100%, it is a chance left squandered and absolute complete stupidity.

15 hours ago, Maestro said:

HALion Sonic SE is the Steinberg equivalent of UVI Workstation.  No, they aren't going to give upgrades off of a free product that anyone can get from the Steinberg website.  Yes, it's literally the same product.  It's bundled with Cubase because it's their product, and their sample/synth playback engine, for the content that comes with Cubase (and Dorico) and from Steinberg (and partners that create for that platform).

There is no logical reason why they would give upgrade discounts to that, the same way no one expects UVI to give upgrade discounts off of UVI Workstation, for the same reason.

Should they also give upgrades from Cubase to Dorico because Cubase has a score editor?

Absolutely nothing stupid about it.

No one is paying for HSSE3 to be bundled in Cubase.  That's why it's in literally every SKU of Cubase, down to AI and LE.  What people pay a little extra for are the sound libraries that Cubase bundles, and those are played back through instruments like HSSE3.

You paid nothing for HSSE3, so why should they basically give you money for having it?

You miss the point completely. This is an opportunity for Steinberg to market Halion better by including a cut down version in Cubase (with some half decent sounds) and then providing an upgrade path to entice you to upgrade to the full version. A bit like NI does with Komplete. Providing the select version free with various hardware and then providing a discount to upgrade to full. It would be good marketing but Steinberg does not seem to care about promoting it's sound libraries that much which is why Halion falls behind other library manufacturers. It is stupid marketing.

I spent a couple of hours with Halion Sonic SE and realized why I was not using it. The truth is, the sounds just are not that great. Plastiky with cheesy reverb splattered over everything, that sometimes you can't get rid of. So rather than Halion Sonic SE enticing me to move towards Halion, it's actually a turn off of all things Halion. I did expect more from Steinberg in the sounds department, it was a bit of a letdown. I don't use their Prologue or Retrologue either. I would like to think that the full Halion sounds better than the Halion Sonic SE but with other libraries being so plentiful and sounding so much better than Halion Sonic SE, why would I bother to find out.

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8 hours ago, Reid Rosefelt said:

Ummmm.... no.   The Sonic you can get for free on the Steinberg site has no sounds in it.  The one that comes in Cubase is a solid instrument with tons of sounds and much programmability,  much more than a player. 

 

No, you only got Halion Sonic SE with Cubase Elements, Artist, Pro. It's a simple player, nothing programmabel. Depending on the Instrument / Library you load, you can adjust Reverb, Delay and such things. Some Libraries (Especially the Basic stuff) are not that great with their sounds, but you can buy Instruments to load and play with HSSe, i.e. Iconica (and others), wich sounds great.  Cinematic Instruments made  Zilhouette Strings for example.  Cubase Artist and Pro have even more Instruments / Libraries for HSSe

Programming starts with Halion Sonic, Sampling can be done with Halion6.

It' the same thing as with NI Kontakt Player vs the full Kontakt. Kontakt player is just that, a player, Kontakt is Sampling and Sound Design. And there is no  upgrade from Kontakt player to Kontakt. 

And Halion Sonic Se does not make any sound without loading a Library or an Intrument. When something sounds bad, it's the  library, not the player. 

Jm2c

 

Edited by mkerl

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i guess you all have a point about Halion SE. I do use it quite a lot in Cubase for the chord track mostly. I have been reluctant to upgrade as it seems complex. I also think I have seen 50% off sales on Halion. Might wait for that.

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From what I can find out, it is a multi timbral synthesizer with patches from the 2000's, with the patches labelled "VX" being considered the "good ones", from a Yamaha Motif 2010. A bit dated if you ask me. I don't know if it can actually play wav based sample libraries or not. It's main function as I can see is to act like TTS does in Cakewalk. For me that means being a GM midi player for when you download midi songs and open them up in Cubase. I've used it for that and Cubase does a good job using Halion Sonic SE to set up the instruments on any GM compatible midi files you download. Then you can move the midi track data over to better sounding individual instrument libraries if you have those.

As a GM midi player it doesn't do a bad job, marginally better than my old Kawai K1. It cops a bit of flack over it's sounds on the net with many describing it as a 80's or 90's synth.

It doesn't have any other purpose on my system, I think I may have retained a couple of the sounds for some of the instruments on my GM midi downloaded edited productions, I can't remember.

Looking for libraries or patches for the Halion Sonic SE leads to a few dead pages, experiments and a group of users circulating patches. Whether it can play Halion libraries, I don't know.

Halion is a different beast altogether, that is like Kontakt or East west etc so there is every reason to believe that the sound quality in Halion libraries would be up there with the rest or better. I don't know though because I've never used Halion.

If Halion Sonic SE could play Halion libraries and it could also be used in other DAW's outside Cubase without problem then there might be a better reason for having it  but none of this is made clear. What restrictions would be placed on those libraries even if Halion Sonic SE could play them.

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56 minutes ago, Tezza said:

 

If Halion Sonic SE could play Halion libraries and it could also be used in other DAW's outside Cubase without problem then there might be a better reason for having it  but none of this is made clear. What restrictions would be placed on those libraries even if Halion Sonic SE could play them.

HSSE should play Halion Libraries, as stated Here:

Free HALion Sonic SE | Steinberg

Here is are some examples of free Instruments for HSSE from Dom Sigalas. The Instruments I own and the  libraries that come with cubase play fine outside Cubase without limitation inside HSSE. It's  just the same as with Kontakt player vs Full Kontakt.

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1 hour ago, Tezza said:

If Halion Sonic SE could play Halion libraries and it could also be used in other DAW's outside Cubase

It does and it can.

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On a separate note, you can't fault this sale for offering discounts on the essentials like Lute or Saz!

😕

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On 2/18/2021 at 3:37 PM, Tezza said:

You miss the point completely. This is an opportunity for Steinberg to market Halion better by including a cut down version in Cubase (with some half decent sounds) and then providing an upgrade path to entice you to upgrade to the full version.

Didn't miss the point.

They already bundle a cut down version with Cubase (with some Half-Decent Sounds).  This is what HALion Sonic SE is?

Full version upgrade path is not needed.  Almost no one in the industry does this, so I am not sure why this is at issue.  There was not an upgrade path off of Structure Free to Structure in Pro Tools. There is no upgrade path off of UVI Workstation to Falcon 2 or MOTO MachFive.  There is no upgrade path off of Kontakt Player to full Kontakt (only a few ways to exploit free Kontakt Player Licensed 3rd party instruments for an upgrade - like Embertone Arcane).

On 2/19/2021 at 8:15 PM, Tezza said:

If Halion Sonic SE could play Halion libraries and it could also be used in other DAW's outside Cubase without problem then there might be a better reason for having it  but none of this is made clear. What restrictions would be placed on those libraries even if Halion Sonic SE could play them.

I clearly indicated that this was the case.

It's there so that you can play HALion Libraries in Cubase or any 3rd party DAW.  It runs Standalone and in any other DAW.  The installer you get for HALion Sonic SE in Cubase 11 is literalyl no different that the one you'd use if you were using Pro Tools, Cakewalk, Studio One, or Ableton Live.  It's it's own product, it's just bundled for convenience.

Installing Cubase 11 does not install HALion Sonic SE.  It has its own installer.

HALion's popularity, like Falcon and MachFive is hindered not by Steinberg's (or UVI's) "Marketing Strategy" but rather the domination of alternative solutions like Kontakt, Omniscphere, and Serum.  Even if they gave $100 Off of HALion Sonic/$50 off HALion 6 for buying Cubase, most people would still get the freebie and run to a Kontakt 6 Upgrade for $249 with the upgrade option to Komplete 13, or buy something like Serum, Pigments 2 (often on sale for 50% off), Zebra or Omnisphere for Synthesis instead; because they're buying the workstation platform based not on what it can do - but what ecosystem it has backing it.

HALion doesn't have enough third-party support to increase its attractiveness, despite being a better Sampling and Synthesis platform than Kontakt (IMHO).

On 2/18/2021 at 10:08 PM, mkerl said:

And Halion Sonic Se does not make any sound without loading a Library or an Intrument. When something sounds bad, it's the  library, not the player. 

Correct.  A lot of the stock HALion Sonic SE patches in Cubase are the General MIDI stuff.  Basically, the equivalent of what you get out of TTS-1 in Cakewalk, though it sounds better (because they seem to come from one of the better Yamaha machines), they are still not as good as a decent Sample Library and were not designed to be that good.  They're usually notated with a [GM ###] marker, BTW.

HALion Sonic 3 adds the better libraries namely:  Studio Strings, Hot Brass, The Eagle/The Raven Pianos, World Instruments, and World Percusion.

Basically, the rough equivalent of the Kontakt Factory Library plus some decent Synths and stuff.

HALion 6 is for when you want to do Surround, need massive patches in one Instance of the Sampler (far more channel output), need/want the Wave Table Editor, or need/want the capability for creating your own Sample Libraries (which can be used in Sonic and Sonic SE).

I also think Multi-Monitor Support is limited to HALion 6, and the UI is more flexible (the players I think have a locked UI layout - but they also have far less panels and UI areas).

HALion has a pretty high learning curve through, since most people are only used to using something like Kontakt Player (or Kontakt as a player).  Sonic and Sonic SE are pretty self-explanatory, but HALion 6 is likely to throw many users into a state of Shock and Awe the second they open the application/plugin.

Personally Opinion:  Absolute is a better deal than buying HALion 6, except during sales like this (the 30% off price is very attractive, IMO), and I'm not sure I'd ever buy HALion Sonic 3 considering HALion 6 includes Sonic 3 the price difference is not high enough considering the lack of editing capabilities in Sonic 3.

If they have a 50% off sale for HALion, chances are the same sale is also running on Absolute 4, so it makes less sense to go just for HALion in that case.  Picking up Groove Agent 5, Retrologue 2, Padshop 2, The Grand 3, HSO, OCM, and a few additional good synths plus some of their better libraries (Granular Guitars, Prime Cuts, etc.) for the price difference is high value.

So, waiting is likely to throw many users into the same conundrum as now.  "Should I settle for HALion 6 or pay the difference for Absolute."

Edited by Maestro
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On 2/19/2021 at 8:15 PM, Tezza said:

Looking for libraries or patches for the Halion Sonic SE leads to a few dead pages, experiments and a group of users circulating patches.

Wanted to quote this snippet, but forgot.

Exactly my point.  HALion's relative popularity is hindered by the fact that almost no third parties are supporting it.

UVI is a lot more active in creating their own [pretty good] sample libraries and synths for Falcon, but UVI is a Sample Library and Synthesizer company.  Steinberg's focus isn't solely in that area.  The effort that UVI puts into their Sample Libraries and Synths goes largely into Steinberg's DAWs, and vice versa.

This is why many people are told to get UVI Falcon 2 over HALion when they are torn between the two.  HALion has a better Factory Library, but it really is no competition once you look at the libraries these companies have available for sale beyond that.  UVI definitely wins.

I prefer the HALion software, but the library ecosystem does leave one wanting (mostly for sampled instruments - I think they're both pretty good and almost evenly matched for Synthesis...).

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The ORIGINAL point wasn't that there wasn't/shouldn't be an upgrade path from the FREE Halion Sonice SE,
but rather that there was no upgrade path for purchaser's of CUBASE PRO.  If they wanted to sell more product,
they would/should offer Cubase Pro users an upgrade path.  Studio One includes Impakt, for free, and then, if you want
the more advanced features, you can buy the Editor Add On.  

COMMON SENSE Marketing says "Hey, if our customers pay $600 for a DAW, shouldn't we throw them a bone 
to spend more money with us? (which is something SERIOUSLY lacking these days)"

So I think people missed the point entirely...it had nothing to do with the FREE Halion Sonic SE, but rather with Cubase 
Pro users getting an upgrade path to Halion Full Version, so hopefully that has been cleared up.  Really they should include
a PAID version of Halion with Cubase Pro ANYWAYS!

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It's not really for me, the lack of third party supported libraries turns me off. They are not cheap either. It's confusing as well,  there are 4 different versions within the Halion ecosystem. They need to do something like a cut down version of Halion in Cubase Pro with an upgrade to the full version, get rid of that Halion Sonic SE rubbish. Which is why this is being suggested, it's no different to what NI do with their Komplete range. When your falling behind in product sales as opposed to your competitors, you need to try something different. I don't agree that their current position in relation to the sales of Halion etc is not related to their marketing plan.

I really don't like Steinberg's confusing marketing and registration processes, or their lack of ticket support depending on which country you live in, or their backward web page for my internet account (looks like something from the 90's). Also, the choice between the annoying dongle or the unfathomable soft E licenser. I like Cubase but that is where my relationship with Steinberg ends. That groove agent is another unintuitive weird thing. I'll stick with Battery and the NI stuff and I also now prefer dedicated third party specific instruments, so they are being bought and used more rather than the bundles with a particular company.

They have a lot of work to do to catch up with competitors like Presonus who have a fantastic web page for your account, a simple registration process and worldwide, quick, ticketed support.

However for my uses, Cubase is better than Studio One at the moment.

 

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On 2/21/2021 at 5:50 AM, cclarry said:

The ORIGINAL point wasn't that there wasn't/shouldn't be an upgrade path from the FREE Halion Sonice SE,
but rather that there was no upgrade path for purchaser's of CUBASE PRO.  If they wanted to sell more product,
they would/should offer Cubase Pro users an upgrade path.  Studio One includes Impakt, for free, and then, if you want
the more advanced features, you can buy the Editor Add On. 

COMMON SENSE Marketing says "Hey, if our customers pay $600 for a DAW, shouldn't we throw them a bone 
to spend more money with us? (which is something SERIOUSLY lacking these days)"

So I think people missed the point entirely...it had nothing to do with the FREE Halion Sonic SE, but rather with Cubase 
Pro users getting an upgrade path to Halion Full Version, so hopefully that has been cleared up.  Really they should include
a PAID version of Halion with Cubase Pro ANYWAYS!

1.  No precedeent for this.  Like stated, other DAW developers do not give upgrade rights to their full sampler/sound design applications from the DAW, and they ship a playback instrument with them.

2.  You mean PresenceXT, an instrument that is locked to Studio One and has no value once you decide you don't want to use it.  All of your sample libraries and presets locked to it - completely lacking in portability.  Yes, the editor will be cheap, for that reason.  PresenceXT Editor isn't really HALion 6 or Falcon 2 level product, anyway.  It deserves to be cheap.  It's a cheap product.  It's basically Structure 2 with scripting.

3.  Common Sense according to whom?  The people developing or selling the product, or the people who want it at a discount? 😉  Steinberg's primary market segment is Digital Audio Workstations.  I think you assume they are competing primarily with NI when that really isn't the case.  HALion exists to round out their ecosystem, not bury the competition.  The brunt of Cubase's user base are people who will skip it and go straight to Komplete and Kontakt Libraries even when there are deals on HALion.  HALion's pricing is not the problem. It's priced very competitively.  Developer support is, and that developer support has nothing to do with the pricing.  Other Samplers have the same problems.

4.  Additionally: "Upgrade cost" is covered by the 2-4 30-50% off deals they run yearly.

5.  Can't miss something that doesn't exist 😉

I don't see why they should include a paid version with Cubase Pro.  HALion is comparable to Falcon 2, and basically does the job of 60% of Native Instruments Komplete in one application/plugin.

NI doesn't give you Kontakt 6 with their $1,000 S88 Keyboard, so I don't see why Steinberg should give you HALion Sonic 3 or 6 with their $550 DAW.  They bundle enough sound content.  TThere are already DAWs on the market that give you far less, yet cost more.

Why complain about this in a thread about a 30% upgrade eon the product, anyways.  It's like $219 tax-free at Best Service during this promotion, FFS.  That is not "too expensive" for this product.

Edited by Maestro
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On 2/21/2021 at 6:04 AM, Tezza said:

It's not really for me, the lack of third party supported libraries turns me off. They are not cheap either. It's confusing as well,  there are 4 different versions within the Halion ecosystem. They need to do something like a cut down version of Halion in Cubase Pro with an upgrade to the full version, get rid of that Halion Sonic SE rubbish. Which is why this is being suggested, it's no different to what NI do with their Komplete range. When your falling behind in product sales as opposed to your competitors, you need to try something different. I don't agree that their current position in relation to the sales of Halion etc is not related to their marketing plan.

I really don't like Steinberg's confusing marketing and registration processes, or their lack of ticket support depending on which country you live in, or their backward web page for my internet account (looks like something from the 90's). Also, the choice between the annoying dongle or the unfathomable soft E licenser. I like Cubase but that is where my relationship with Steinberg ends. That groove agent is another unintuitive weird thing. I'll stick with Battery and the NI stuff and I also now prefer dedicated third party specific instruments, so they are being bought and used more rather than the bundles with a particular company.

They have a lot of work to do to catch up with competitors like Presonus who have a fantastic web page for your account, a simple registration process and worldwide, quick, ticketed support.

However for my uses, Cubase is better than Studio One at the moment.

 

The lack of third party libraries is irrelevant to the people to whom HALion (or Falcon) is attractive, because those people want it for sound design and for actual sampling (not simply playing back sample libraries).  For those things, it tis far ahead of Kontakt and practically on par with UVI Falcon.

It's a Mega Synth and Sampler.  That's the point of it.  Libraries are icing on the cake, to those people.  They will happily run those through Kontakt Player.

People who need third party libraries need to go with Kontakt.

HALion is more attractive to Sound Designers for its deep feature set in that area, than it tis to composers - who generally just want the best sample libraries the market has to offer.  Those are going to be on Kontakt.  They will be on Kontakt for the foreseeable future.  HALion could cost $99.99 with a $9.99 upgrade off Cubase Pro, and this would not changed - at least not fast enough for it to matter to you.

While it may seem "expensive" to you, HALion can replace A+ Analog, Wave Table, and Granular Synths that - together - mount up to 2-3x its cost combined.  That's where the value is.

There are some great orchestral Libraries for HALion, but if you can't afford it you aren't going to be able to afford something like Iconica Suite.  They should play in Sonic SE, anyways /shrugs

-----

I've had nothing but good experience with Steinberg support.  Prompt, quick, and they always followed through to resolution.  Hell, they even refunded a dongled purchase to me because of an issue I was having with my audio interface.  Without question.

PreSonus support is renown for being terrible.  I am not sure how you arrived at that conclusion, but experiences do vary!  My response times from their support is in the realm of 3 days or so, and it's always a PITA to get to the answers they send with how the system is set up - sometimes you have to log in to view it, sometimes it bugs out and it doesn't show up, etc.  I haven't quite figured that out, yet.

-----

I agree that MySteinberg needs a revamp.  I think the site is generally fine, but managing activations is really outdated and needs to be redone - particularly for soft-elicensers.

But I doubt Steinberg sees PreSonus' web site as a reason to be alarmed, Lol...

-----

Groove Agent has a similar layout to Impact XT in Studio One, and multiple other similar instruments (i.e. Drum Rack in Ableton, Kong in Reason, etc.).  Not sure how that is unintuitive.  Battery's layout is generally the outtlier, viewed hollistically.  In any case, it's a pretty good plug-in 😛 And cheaper than HALion, so less cause for pricing complaints, I guess...

Edited by Maestro
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